Sunday, August 05, 2012


“Have you heard about Mark Spitz’....” Sandy stops herself in mid-question, shaking her head, laughing.... “I mean Michael Phelps’ Pressure Chamber?”

“No,” Penelope grins, “I haven’t. What’s that?”

“It’s this chamber that he goes into to simulate very high altitudes. Like the Swiss Alps and such.”

“Isn’t that Cheating?” DL asks, sitting up from her usual prone position in Utopia.
“One would think,” Sandy continues. “But evidently not.”
“How does it work?” Penelope asks, thinking of course DL is right. Stupid Michael Phelps is a Cheater. His lungs are not his own but instead are some monstrosity by-product of a torturous pressure chamber.

“He goes into this chamber, and like I said, it simulates very high altitudes, and practices breathing very thin air. It must increase his lung capacity. That way when he’s swimming, he can use this increased lung capacity in order to have an edge over his competitors.”

“Sounds like Cheating to me,” DL nods.
“Yeah, me too. How is that fair? Do other swimmers have access to such devices?”
”He’s been able to keep it under wraps. In other words, he doesn’t advertise it.”
“Yet you know about it.”

“True, true....” Sandy grins, pleased. “But you bring up a good point about its fairness, DL. I hadn’t thought of that.”
DL lies back down on the bench, sighing. “It does seem like an unfair advantage. I wonder how much such a chamber costs?”

“Precisely,” Sandy nods. “He’s got the capital to purchase either the chamber itself or buy the time he needs to spend in it.”

Swimming Class Situation, Penelope thinks to herself. Phelps must have millions of dollars to his name at this point in his career. What with those 20 some odd Olympic medals, he’s set for life.

So, why, when he loses a race, is he such a Big Baby Head? (Penelope owes this title to her sister, Snart)

Cuz that’s what he is when he loses. When he came in 4th in the 400 IM and Andrea came running up to him, shoving the microphone in his face, he could barely speak to her. “What happened out there Michael?”

“I dunno....I.....” Michael shakes his head, stunned.

Penelope thinks this must be it. He’s just not used to not making all of his Goals.

After his last race, the 4X100 IM, where he'd won Gold with the help of his teammates, Bob Costas asks him if he’d reached all of his goals.

“I know you came to these games with a very specific set of goals in mind,” Costa jabs. “I’m just wondering, did you meet all of those Goals?”
Phelps shakes his head, laughing, “The goals were met.”

“But did you meet all of the goals that you set at the onset?”
Phelps gives him a steely look, “All of the goals were met.”
He won’t answer the question about what exactly the goals were. i.e.: to win 4 gold and 3 silver? Or to win 7 gold ? Or....?

And Penelope has to wonder if Phelps’ brain was maybe pressurized too much in that Swiss Alps Chamber. Wouldn’t that lack of oxygen affect the brain too?

So much so that the articulation of goals eludes one?

Nah, Phelps is just being a Cagey Asshole.

Penelope is so glad he’s retiring. Give someone else a chance to shine in the next swimming Olympics.

Someone cool, a woman, like say, Missy Franklin!

She doesn’t need a Pressure Chamber to increase her lung capacity. Her lungs are all natural. You can just tell, don’t you think?

Go Missy.
Good-bye Michael.

And never forget Mark Spitz.